Manager's Comments

Dec 16th on the Well Post-Match:   - Match Recap -

Dec 15th on the Well Pre-Match: "I thought we approached the game a bit casually on Tuesday night so we have to get back on the front foot. We have to be aggressive in the press, get the ball forward and look a threat like we did in the home game against Partick Thistle. If we can get that level of performance again then we look forward to a good game against a tough Motherwell team. Scott (Boyd) did well, it shows the value of having a squad that is fit and ready to take their opportunity when it comes. I always say to the squad players who aren’t involved week in, week out that they have to be ready for their chance. Scott came off the bench and did well as did Greg Taylor. The team improved in the second half so both of them did themselves a lot of good."

Dec 12th on the Staggies Post-Match:   "Second half, we were by far the better team, Disappointed with the first half. "We conceded two terrible goals from set plays and it made it a more difficult night than maybe it should've been.  Obviously, losing the two defenders as well disrupted us and we lost concentration a little round about that time, which maybe influenced the fact that we didn't defend set plays because by and large this year we've defended set plays really well. Gordon had felt something in the warm-up. Hopefully, it's not too serious but he had to come off. Stuart Findlay fell over, gave himself a knock. To lose two defenders at that stage of the game was obviously disappointing and to lose two big defenders against a team that are good at set plays. You know if you get the ball in the box in and around Kris, you'll always have a chance of scoring and thankfully it turned out that he got the equaliser for us. He's been terrific for me. Young Eamonn's on a good vein of form, tired a little bit towards the end but you see with his quality, his strike, he can score left foot, right foot and when you've got goalscorers that are scoring you've always got a chance. We'll take the point. We're on a good little run."   - Match Recap -

Dec 11th on the Staggies Pre-Match: 
"This will be my first visit to Dingwall to play my first game against Ross County and I look forward to it.  They have come a long way so credit to the directors, the owner, the people who have set it up and got them to the position they are in.  If people are prepared to put in the time, the effort and money, and these teams can prove they deserve to be at the top level then that's great, that shows a good level of ambition. We are looking to keep building. If we can continue the level of performance hopefully the points will keep coming."

Dec 9th on the Jags Post-Match: "It was nice to get a home win. It’s been a hoodoo around us. It’s nice to win back-to-back games, nice to score five, nice to sit on the bench at the end feeling comfortable. It was a really good performance from start to finish. I thought we were always slightly better. We spoke about a quick start. Thistle coming here were under pressure being bottom and trying to close the gap. So we felt we could be on the front foot and cause them problems and we did that. Kris takes the pens. He made the point you don’t see too many players running for the ball when you’re 1-0 down".  - Match Recap -

Dec 2nd on the Saints Post-Match:  "It wasn't the prettiest of games but we knew beforehand we'd have to dig in at times and we did that.  We got a break when Wotherspoon's shot came back off the post but I think we'd earned that by that stage.  We had pure dogged determination to stay in the game. The quality came from us in the second half. The winning goal was a good example of that."
"He's [Brophy] fine, he just picked up a little bit of cramp, he hasn't been involved that often this season. He's been good in and around training. I always had it in the back of my mind that he was due a start, similar to Dominic Thomas. I thought Eamonn did very well and grabbed his chance. Dom was good, he ran out of steam a little bit in the second half. But I think it's nice for the squad players that they can see we are looking at everybody, we are not just looking at the same 11. It's important for squad players to know that, when they're working hard and doing well in training, that the manager and the coaching staff are looking at them and we will give them a chance." - Match Recap -

Nov 26th 2017 on the Dons Post-Match: "The start of the game was disgraceful. It's nothing to do with the game plan, It's about the attitude of the players who went onto the pitch. Performances by and large have been pretty good. For some reason we decided we weren't going to start the game well today. After [12] minutes the game is over. We gave a good team a two goal start and you can't do that. When you take over a team at the bottom of the league you know it's going to be difficult, There's going to be good moments there's going to be bad moments. We dust ourselves down, we come back and work even harder and try and do better next week."   - Match Recap -

Nov 18th 2017 on the Dee Post-Match:  "A lot of honest endeavour from both teams. It looked like a game between two teams that haven't had the best of starts to the season. Probably a little bit of a fear of losing for both sides. The first half was pretty much a non-event. The second half opened up a little bit and obviously we're disappointed that we missed one great one-on-one at the end and young Eamonn Brophy came off the bench and had a good header that came off the crossbar, so maybe we're feeling a little bit hard done by that we could have nicked the three points."  - Match Recap -

Nov 17th 2017 on the Dee Pre-Match: "It is a big game but they are all big games. When you pick up three points out of your first eight games, it means you have left 21 points behind and you spend the rest of the season trying to catch up those points and that's what we are trying to do at the moment. We are maybe disappointed that we didn't get more points from a good run of games where we played really well. But overall, I'm reasonably content with what we have done so far." 
Clarke on DR Congo midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu, (who played under him at West Brom) "He has been sitting on the couch at home doing nothing," he said. "I got a phone call to ask if I would give him a little bit of training time and that's what I've done. It is going to be difficult to attract somebody like Youssouf here. If we could get something done I would be surprised but you never know. We haven't really spoken about it."

Nov 5th 2017 on the Hearts Post-Match: "I'm delighted from a selfish point of view to get my first win as manager, It was important for the team on the back of some really good performances since I came into the club that we got that win. We went behind at Ibrox and got a point, we went behind at Celtic Park and got a point and, when we got pegged back here, it would have been easy to fold, especially on the back of a difficult physical game in midweek against Hibs," said Clarke.But the lads showed their character, dug in and got the winner and I think, overall, over the 90 minutes, we deserved to win this game."

"Scottish people are very good at running down their own game and I think we should be a little bit more positive about it and try to push the game. I think the levels are okay, Let's talk up the good things about Scottish football."Basically, that's what the English Premier League do - they sell their game all the time,  I've seen some bad Premier League games as well and it's the same in Scotland - you'll get a lot of good games at a weekend, you might get one bad one and everybody highlights the bad one." - Match Recap -

Oct 31st on the Hibs Post-Match:  "I thought we started really slowly and I think that was a consequence of two really difficult away games. So we expended a lot of effort to get two good points.  We allowed Hibs to get in front and from there it was always going to be a difficult night for us. Credit to the players they knuckled down and got back into the game. Kris had a header that came back off the crossbar and that would have made a difference to the game.

"And we had a great chance early in the second half and if we get the game back to 1-1 I think we would have got something from it.  I thought the crowd were absolutely terrific tonight. The fact they stayed until the end, clapped the team off the pitch was just a measure of how hard the lads tried on the pitch. We certainly made some mistakes, the first two goals were very, very poor goals to concede and the third is a consequence of chasing the game to get back in it. The crowd got right behind us, I think they recognised the players gave it everything and we played some good stuff.  We had a spell at the end of the first half and beginning of the second where we were by far the better team but we couldn’t get the crucial goal to make it 1-1, which I think would have changed the night". - Match Recap

Oct 30th on the Hibs Pre-Match:“I saw the players against Partick Thistle and they were good on the day, they were good at Ibrox and again at Celtic Park. We have to look to build on that with a home game against Hibs, who have been very impressive.  There is always a change when a new manager comes in where you hope you get that bounce factor. Maybe that is the period we are in just now.  But it’s my job to make sure it is more than a bounce, that it becomes the norm, and they approach games the way they are approaching them now, and continue to pick up points. It was a difficult start to the season for us with three points from eight games and no wins. It doesn’t look good. I’ve been a player myself, and I know confidence can dip a little bit during runs like that. It’s a matter of trying to build it again. “For any club, your home form is crucial to how you do over the course of a season. It’s something we have to address as quickly as possible, and we have a great chance against Hibs to get a home win on the board. I’ve looked at the past games this season. Against St Johnstone here we lost a last-minute goal. We were 2-0 up at home to Hamilton and should have won. We drew with Dundee having got back into the game at 1-1 at a good time, and missed a couple of late chances. If one of those games is changed into a win, I might not even be sitting here. These are the small margins we work to in football.”

Oct 28th on the Celtic Post-Match: "We had to defend very well all game. We were organised and worked hard to limit Celtic.  We spoke about not threatening enough at half time and obviously you have to come out a bit more when you go a goal behind.  We showed a bit of quality to get us up the pitch and get the goal which, on the balance of the second half, we deserved. If we continue to work hard and stay organised, the players can show the talent that they've got and we can slowly start to climb the table." - Match Recap -

Oct 27th on the Celtic Pre-Match: Clarke has to come up with a way to stop Celtic equalling their own 100-year-old British record of 62 domestic games unbeaten. That record ended with a 2-0 home defeat to Kilmarnock on April 21, 1917,   "All the Kilmarnock players who played all those years ago (in 1917) are unavailable so we will go with what we have got. History is probably great for you guys in the media but it is not really relevant to us. Celtic's record over the last few years speaks for itself. At this moment in time they are probably on a different level to teams in Scotland. You have to be realistic about it. "It is our job as coaches, managers, players of opposition teams to close the gap and make it more difficult for Celtic. It is going to be a very difficult game for us and we have to go there with a little bit of confidence and ambition and try to make it as difficult an afternoon as possible for Celtic. 
On Brendan Rodgers : "We go back to the youth team days at Chelsea, when we first came across each other. He has had a great career and it will be nice to catch up with him and hopefully we can have five minutes to have a chat about the old times. It is always hard to predict what happens in the future. Nobody knows what is round the corner. He was a young, ambitious, well-organised coach. His principles and methods were clear at that time and when you have those qualities it is maybe no surprise that he has gone on to have a good career."

Oct 25th on the Rangers Post-Match: : "It was good to be back, back with those feelings on the touchline that only a football manager can get.  I thought we thoroughly deserved the point. It would have been very difficult to go and speak to the players if we hadn't got anything out it. Obviously the last five minutes were a little bit crazy but we capitalised on that.  There was a bit of turmoil around the place and we kept our focus. Jamie redeemed himself for a short goal kick and saved the penalty and then we broke quickly and got the goal we deserved." - Match Recap -

Oct 23rd on the Rangers Pre-Match:  "You can't come in and bombard them with too much information, We have worked on one or two basic principles that should be good enough to help us go forward, and slowly over the season we will keep adding little principles, better principles. It's going to be slowly, slowly that things will start to change, but hopefully the Kilmarnock fans will see one or two changes in the coming matches, I'm hoping to introduce a better style of play at Kilmarnock as the season goes on".

Oct 16th 2017 (at his first press conference)  "It is a big club, I remember from years back coming here as a young boy to watch my older brother Paul play for the team. It is a team that is always competitive in the Scottish top flight, maybe that has drifted in recent years but I would definitely put Kilmarnock in the top six when it comes to clubs in Scotland and that is where we will aim to be. I would definitely put Kilmarnock in the top six when it comes to clubs in Scotland and that is where we will aim to be. We know it will be a long road to get there. I have signed a contract for two and a half years and I expect to be here for two and a half years. You never know in football, I am not naive, not silly and circumstances can change, I have been the victim myself and I know what is like to lose your job.

"But there has been honesty from the club and they have highlighted that fact that they felt there has been to many changes - not all sackings to be fair to them as some managers left of their own accord. So those changes don't help if you are looking for stability and I am here to try and provide that stability going forward.  I think attendances have dropped in a number of places and I think Kilmarnock has been particularly badly hit economically. I think the only way to get fans back watching your football club is by getting an attractive winning team on the pitch. That is not going to happen overnight and will take a lot of time but nearly 1000 of our fans travelled to Fir Park on Saturday and thankfully the team backed it up with a good performance and three points. It is only a small step but if we can build on that it is a small step in the right direction for the club."

Managers Comment's From : (Lee Clark) June-July - August - September - October - November - December - January - Feb-Mar - Apr-May - May-Oct (Lee McCulloch)

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